Help w/ Various satellite TV questions (not ham related)

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Help w/ Various satellite TV questions (not ham related)

Post by KA9FOX » Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:52 am

Ok, so this isn't related to ham radio, but hey, it's my site, so I get a little leeway, right? :)

I'm moving to a different house, and I cannot get cable at the new place. So, I have to get satellite.

1) any opinions on the various satellite providers???

2) I wired many rooms in the house with RG6 Quad Shield. If I get one satellite receiver (or maybe two) how do I share these with multiple TVs? I understand I can buy UHF remotes to control the receivers, but I'll need some type of distribution amplifier, right? Any recommendations on amps that are 6 meter ham friendly?

3) I also need to connect a UHF and VHF antenna to pull in local stations. Any suggestions on distributing the local signals to the multiple TVs in the house?

4) I currently have a Replay TV and I am not sure if I can use that with the satellite or not. If not, then I'll want one of the TiVO units. i'd like to be able to view whatever is on the TiVO from any TV in the house.

I realize these questions will probably raise more questions... so bring 'em on. And thanks in advance for your help to this satellite newbie!!!

73 - Scott KA9FOX
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Post by N9IO » Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:25 am

Hello Scott,
One of my many hats I wear and am not properly appreciated for is maintaining the cable system at the hospital I work at.

You can easily make your own little head end.
You will need to spend a few dollars on RF modulators and cable taps,
but will find it works well.

I have installed a few different versions at a some of our satellites as well.

An RF modulator is merely a device like the RF modulator coming off your VCR, i.e. ch3 or 4 output, only the signal is much stronger and variable.

The cheapest route is fixed modulators, set to a fixed channel.
Since you are using an antenna off air system, I would suggest using a few (unused) channels between 2-14.
Here in the Chicagoland viewing area, used channels on VHF are
2,5,7,9,11. So 12,13,14 would be my first choices. Helps avoid adjacent channel interference. 8 and 10 would be my next choice.

Feed composite video and audio (mono), from each sat receiver, to separate modulators.
Feed another from your TiVo.
Put in a CCTV camera pointed at your front door, Garage, etc on another RF modulator channel. You get the idea...

Each modulator "IS" it's own channel.

Next, tie it all together with a tap for each modulator.
Feed the tap with the output from the RF modulator.
Making your own head end combiner with the taps.
To clarify, a tap has an IN, OUT and TAP.
Make short jumpers with F connectors on each end.
Connect the taps together via the Ins and Outs.

For on-air systems there is a little trick to tying in the on-air antenna
to all this. Just has to do with the way you feed the first tap, I believe. If you are interested in going this route, I will take a look at one of the systems I built in our dialysis unit. It's been some years back, I can't remember it all. But a quick reference is available in the morning with a quick walk down there. That one is the cable coming in to the unit, and three VCRs that patients bring their tapes from home to view while on dialysis.

I'm getting ready to tie in a single VCR to a modulator in our Post Partum wing for informational tapes to be played for the brand new mothers.

Blonder-Tongue make great modulators.
The fixed units were around $125 each last time I ordered any.
I think the model number is PCM-55 or such.
The agile (channel variable) varieties are MUCH more expensive.

It does help to have a variety of taps on hand like I do,
from 6 to 20 dB or so. Usually around 9dB taps will do well.

I know this may seem a little extreme, but it's really fairly simple once you've ever seen it done. Hooking in CCTV cameras is very cool.

Really, all this is pretty much the way the original Cable TV systems were built years ago.
And I've got news for you, MANY mom pop systems are still this way.
Basically, I run a small city cable system at work.
Wish I could make the revenue the cable companies rake in, Hi !!!
I'm on the wrong end of this stick...

Let me know if you're interested, I'd be glad to look up the specific parts you will need.

Now, having said all that, they do make a module that does all this for you in one box call ChannelPlus.

Go to this web site at Skyvision,
I think you will be impressed with this unit.
It is very stable and reliable.
For around $400, you will have one great system.
Much easier to do than what I just described.

Sorry for all the bandwidth above, but it gives you a certain amount of appreciation for what ChannelPlus brings to the table.

I've been doing business from work and home for years, and find them to be a very solid and reliable company you'll be glad to deal with.

In particular, I am referring to this unit at this page.

If I can be of assistance, I'm always available to you Scott.

73' Clay N9IO
Clay N9IO

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Post by k4kk » Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:21 am

I am a LONG-time DirecTV subscriber. I have had excellent service with them. If you buy the newer eliptical dish (about $45 - 60) it will serve 4 receivers. That is much easier than trying to do RF modulation in competition with amateur radio. Mine never even flicker when I'm radio opping and CB (childbride - not a radio group) is watching TV.

If you need any information, particulars, etc, drop me an email.


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satellite tv ststems?

Post by W4FJF » Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:03 am

I've installed Primestar, DirecTV, and Dish Network systems over the years. Use Belden RG-6U Silicon Flooded cable throughout your install to eliminate water infiltration into the cable ( this cable works well for feeding dipoles, too ).
I prefer Dish Network as their programming is better and pricing is at par with DirecTV. You can use one reciever per TV or one reciever feeding into a MATV like system and use the UHF remote to control it all. PyrEmitters can be used if the reciever supplied to you isn't UHF capable. Be sure to use 75 ohm terminators on all unused taps on your splitters or you will bleed into the system while on various VHF/UHF ham frequencies.
Actually, if you can find a working C band system, and take the time and trouble to install it, the programming is cheaper and you aren't limited to the "programming packages" the k/u band suppliers jam down your throat. The programming suppliers for c-band can tailor a package for you, leaving out all the garbage you wouldn't want. Turner network systems used to supply me 55 channels, including NASA Select for 9.95/month. Things may have changed some since 5 years ago, but hopefully not too much.
The only real drawbacks on c-band systems was clearing the ice/snow or leaves off the wire mesh dishes and the positioning arm would wear out every year or two.

If you do go with the k/u band suppliers, their recievers have a "local antenna" input on the back panel (an "f" connector) so you can recieve local tv stations if they aren't already supplied thru the satellite( for an extra charge, of course). Don't ever buy a used k/u band reciever from an individual because the card may be missing or they may have an outstanding bill yet to pay and the company will NOT authorize that reciever unless YOU pay the bill. Caveat emptor applies when you buy any used satellite TV gear. Good Luck!
Be careful: The toes you stomp on today may be attached to the butt you may have to kiss tomorrow!

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Post by KA9FOX » Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:20 am

I did wind up going with Dish and love it. We upgraded to their PVR (TiVO like system) and it works pretty good (not as good as my old Replay, but the price is right -- nothing to buy, and only $4.95 per month and that is for a dual-tuner unit)

I used a distribution amp from Channel Master that has 1 RF and two component inputs. I'm using that to feed both Dish tuners throughout my house. The UHF remotes kick butt... work great.

For $45 a month, we are enjoying over 120 channels, plus PILES of commercial free music stations (I'm listening to one right now), plus the local channels, plus the Personal Video Recorder (TiVO type thing). No contracts, no equipment to buy. And the customer service at Dish has been outstanding. I called about some where to buy the UHF remotes and they said they'd just send me one. Outstanding.

If you actually want to get DISH, find a friend that has DISH first (perhaps me) and get a "referral card" from them. Your friend will get $5 off their bill for a year, just by saying they referred you.

I'm not saying any of this because I might get a discount on my bill. I am totally thrilled with the DISH service. And to think I used to spend nearly $50 on regular cable TV -- 70 channels, crappy signal, ugh!!

73 - Scott KA9FOX
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Sat TV

Post by W0LPQ » Mon Nov 08, 2004 1:38 pm

Scott, we have Dish also and now that Sirius is aboard, that plus Dish's own music channels, gives you one ..... of a selection of music. Our music is on almost all day..!

Good choice..


Bill, W0LPQ

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